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Paradise Found

Rediscover the Desert Paradise Resort

Home isn’t necessarily a location or a building. It is a sense of belonging. Many in the LGBTQ+ community graduate from their birthplace and create an extended family that includes friends, partners, and likeminded individuals.

Our camaraderie transcends boundaries, and it may even guide us to the warm embrace of Palm Springs.

“I came out to visit with a friend of mine back in 2002,” recounts Desert Paradise General Manager Charles Zalepeski. “I don’t really know how to describe it. We were driving through town, got out of the car, and I just somehow knew I would live here one day. I just instantly fell in love.”

His eventual move took 12 years, but “I finally made it out here and don’t regret a minute of it,” Charles beams. “It’s been a great adventure.”

Desert Paradise Resort Palm Springs

Truly, Desert Paradise had turned from a mirage to an oasis of opportunities. “This was just the perfect property at the perfect time.”

The bones of the property offer a wonderful foundation. The sprawling courtyard invites leisure seekers to lounge by the pool or simmer in the spacious Jacuzzi. If the heat becomes too much to bear, retire to your intimate suite and enjoy the newly designed décor.

“It hasn’t really been a renovation, more of just a facelift of sorts,” explains Charles. “The rooms have been toned down to more neutral colors. The mirrored walls are gone, it’s now, kind of a wood planking, which is really, really nice. I’m really, really happy with that. I’m really pleased. We’re going for a rustic mid-century theme, and just trying to keep it a little more minimal, not so kitschy.”

Desert Paradise Resort Palm Springs

Impressions matter, especially now when Charles is reaching out to a new demographic. “I want us to provide a safe haven… Speaking to some of the younger generation here at the bars and things like that when the real world was still a thing,” he pauses for a reflective chuckle before continuing in earnest. “They were talking about, ‘Oh, I would never go to a resort like yours. I love vacationing with my friends and hanging out with them.’ That’s great now in your twenties, but your friends are going to start having kids soon.”

Acknowledging the growing pains that many of us in the queer community experience in our 30s and beyond, Charles punctuates his empathetic point. “There’s going to come a point, in my opinion, that you’re going to want to be engrossed in a community of people that are more like you.”

Desert Paradise Resort Palm Springs

Meet Desert Paradise. “We want it to feel like a second home. We’re going to take care of you from start to finish. We’re really concentrating on service levels and trying to increase that beyond anything that property has ever experienced. We’re offering concierge services like crazy, providing beverages free of charge and complimentary breakfast, things like that. It’s really all about the guest experience and we want it to be a laid back and calm environment.”

Reaching a crescendo of hospitality, Charles declares that he is “creating that type of guest experience where the guest leaves and can’t wait to come back.”

It’s a tall order, but Desert Paradise is filling it with dedication galore. “We’re going to continue to do improvements. We want that property to be the star in Palm Springs. It’s going to take us a while to get there, I’m fully prepared for that, but I want Desert Paradise to be THE place to go to.”

Charles Zalepeski’s passion for inclusion unfurls like the welcome mat to a happier, healthier tomorrow. We’ll see you poolside.

Note: Desert Paradise is a men’s only clothing optional resort.

By Kevin Perry

Desert Paradise Resort Palm Springs

Images Courtesy Desert Paradise Resort

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